Second Annual Model African Union with Columbus International High School
The Second Annual Model African Union Simulation for Ohio high school students was held on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at Columbus International High School. It provided over 80 students from 8 schools an opportunity to step into the shoes of African Ambassadors, and engage with African issues in an innovative way.
Students represented 25 African countries, and debated issues ranging from water resources to education. During the afternoon session, students resolved a simulated crisis between Sudan and South Sudan. The students worked together to produce resolutions addressing these topics while practicing their public speaking and diplomatic skills.
Mr. Tarek Ben Youssef, Senior Political Officer of the African Union Mission to the United States, observed the students throughout the day and offered them encouraging advice about the importance of their discussions.
The students ended the day with an award ceremony and presentation of certificates. Mr. Tarek Ben Youssef delivered the keynote address to the teachers, students and their parents, addressing the relevance of multi-lateral diplomacy and the importance of activities such as this one.
Collegiate Council on World Affairs (OSU student organization) generously provided their members to run the conference proceedings and advise the students. The Center for African Studies, Columbus Council on World Affairs, Columbus International High School and Model African Union OSU, also played key roles in the planning process and running the simulation.
Dr. Robert Agunga, Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education and Leadership (ACEL) in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, has been appointed as the new Director for the Center for African Studies.
Dr. Agunga has taught at OSU since 1988. Prior to that he was a Research & Teaching Associate (1985-89), in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Iowa, where he earned his Doctoral (1989), Master’s (1983), and Bachelor’s (1981) degrees in those disciplines. He was also a Research Associate in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Iowa. Born in Ghana, Dr. Agunga began his higher education at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, receiving a diploma for Extension Education and Farm Management in 1976.
Dr. Agunga’s areas of expertise encompass participation, empowerment, integration, capacity building, community-driven development, communication and change, African development, poverty reduction, and food security. He is interested in research on communication and social impact assessment of knowledge, attitude and behavior studies related to food and health and lifestyle choices. He is particularly interested in designing, implementing and evaluating health and agricultural communication campaigns.
In addition to his teaching and research in FAES, Dr. Agunga holds joint appointments in the Department of African American and African Studies, and with the School of Communication. In 2008, he served as a Fulbright Teaching Scholar with Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, in Malawi. He has been involved in numerous international initiatives, including consultancies in Tanzania and Malawi and as a member of university delegations for Ghana and Malawi, as well as a Study Abroad Resident Director in Swaziland. He serves an external evaluator for graduate programs at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana; the Caribbean Institute of Mass Communication, University of the West Indies, and the University of Agriculture at Faisalabad, Pakistan. Dr. Agunga takes over leadership of CAS from Dr. Kelechi Kalu, who is now the Associate Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs at OSU.
The Ohio State University Center for African Studies has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to increase academic collaboration and faculty exchange and support for a new study abroad program with two Ethiopian universities.
The $224,684 grant will allow for the exchange of faculty and staff from Ohio State with those from Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa and Gondar Universities, providing global opportunities for co-teaching and instructor training. Addis Ababa and Gondar will also collaborate with Ohio State on distance-learning. Additionally, the grant will help support a new study abroad program for Ohio State undergraduate students, particularly those in education, health sciences and STEM disciplines, as well as those with arts and sciences majors. Students will be able to explore the international dimensions of their fields of study, as well as gain perspectives about life and development in Ethiopia. This is part of a new study abroad program and will be available during Ohio State’s Global May programs, which are geared toward first and second year students, and take place during the new May session in the university’s new semester system.
“This grant will enable Ohio State’s teaching and learning initiatives with our Ethiopian partner institutions to thrive, and consequently enhance the university’s mission of increased global collaboration,” said Kelechi Kalu, associate provost for global strategies and international affairs. “Also, the grant will offer students the opportunity to study in Ethiopia, improve their cultural awareness, enable them to have a better grasp of their respective disciplines in a different cultural context and expand their global perspectives.”
Yoruba Club 21, a Columbus-based socio-cultural group for people of Yoruba descent from Nigeria, has donated $15,000 to the Owomoyela Yoruba Studies Fund at The Ohio State University. The fund was established in honor of Professor Oyekan Owomoyela, a noted Yoruba studies scholar and philanthropist. Ohio State’s Center for African Studies administers the funds, which will be used to promote faculty and student research in Western Nigeria and in other parts of West Africa; enhance the center’s library collection; organize seminars, conferences and symposia on issues of Yoruba language and culture; fund travel to and from the region to conduct research; create a student and faculty exchange program; and develop a certificate and degree program with an emphasis on Yoruba studies. The donation from Yoruba Club 21 supports the endowment and represents community interest not only for Yoruba studies, but African studies at Ohio State. The Center for African Studies plans to begin implementing Yoruba Studies programming spring semester.
Vice Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs William Brustein has selected Kelechi Kalu as the next Associate Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs at Ohio State. Subject to approval by the Ohio State’s Board of Trustees, his appointment is effective July 1, 2012. Kalu is currently the director of the Center for African Studies and a professor of African American and African Studies at Ohio State. Dieter Wanner, the current Associate Provost, will retire at the end of June. Until then, he will continue to work with the Office of International Affairs to ensure a smooth transition in leadership.
"Kelechi is a highly accomplished scholar possessing tremendous passion for preparing students for the global challenges and opportunities of the 21st century," Brustein said. “The position of Associate Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs is crucial to the success of Ohio State’s plans for internationalization and eminence, and Dieter has made considerable contributions to the internationalization of The Ohio State University during the past five years. I look forward to Kelechi continuing the course Dieter has established in support of the evolution of this global university.”
Kalu was a Korea Foundation Feld Research Award recipient and a visiting scholar at Ewha Womans University during the summer and fall quarters of 2011. He previously held faculty positions at the University of Denver, Connecticut College and the University of Northern Colorado.
He is currently serving as associate editor of African Social Science Review, and is a member of the International Screening Committee for the Social Science Research Council program on Global Conflicts and Security. A past president of the International Studies Association-Southwestern, Kalu is also the author of Economic Development and Nigerian Foreign Policy, recipient of African Scholars Research Board 2000 Excellence in Authorship award as well as a recipient of the Association of Third World Studies (ATWS) President’s 2004 Distinguished Leadership & Service Award.
Kalu earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics at the University of North Texas, a master’s degree in political science and international affairs from the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio and a doctorate in international studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.
“It is a privilege for me to be a part of Ohio State’s efforts to achieve its goal of global preeminence through strategic internationalization in learning, discovery and engagement,” said Kalu. “I look forward to working with faculty and staff, helping Ohio State students navigate the complex global marketplace, and guiding those citizens from Ohio and abroad who desire to know, discover and engage the world.”
Professor Ali Mazrui Speaks on "Islam in Africa's Experience"
Dr. Ali Mazrui, a scholar of African and Islamic Studies spoke to Columbus professionals at the “Islam in Africa’s Experience: Expansion, Revival & Radicalization” luncheon on February 23, 2012. Dr. Mazrui, a professor at Binghamton University, was named in the top 100 public intellectuals alive in 2005 by Foreign Policy journal and the British Journal - Prospect. He described the long history of Islam in Africa, dating back to the time of the Prophet when Muslims fled religious persecution in the Arabian Peninsula and sought refuge in Ethiopia. He provided insight into issues ranging from Boko Haram in Nigeria, religious tolerance in Senegal, the situation in Somalia and Muslim radicalism. He pointed to the West for creating the resentment that fuels radical Muslims, but noted that “only a minority are prepared to use violence.” He closed with optimistic remarks about the future of Christianity and Islam and their harmonious roles in government and society.
The event was sponsored by the Columbus Council on World Affairs, OSU Center for Middle Eastern Studies and OSU Center for African Studies. The recorded presentation can be seen online .
CAS Director conducts research, exchange as Korea Foundation Field Research Fellow and Visiting Scholar
From August 2011 through January 2012, Professor Kelechi Kalu has been a Korea Foundation Field Research Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Graduate School of International Studies & Institute for Development and Human Security of Ewha Womans University. He conducted research on Korea-Africa Relations with a focus on the role of Official Development Assistance in economic development. Building on his prior research on South Korea’s development model and its relevance to African contexts, Dr. Kalu interviewed policy makers, diplomats and scholars on their views on how Korea transformed from poverty to wealth after World War II and the Korean War: Many of his research findings will be forthcoming in a co-authored book with Jiyoung Kim, Politics of Foreign Assistance: Institutions and Development in South Korea and Selected African States.
In addition to his research Professor Kalu was an active participant in many campus, and regional and international events examining development models, aid effectiveness, human security and other issues. His presentations at Ewha University examined the role of women in development, education in sustainable development, and the impacts of global political economy on African states. Dr. Kalu took part in a number of international events in South Korea during his stay. As an Accredited Delegate to the Busan “Forum on Aid Effectiveness – Building a New Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation”, he was a panelist for the discussion “Toward a Global Compact for Development Effectiveness” as part of the Pre-HLF4 Conference in late November. Dr. Kalu served as a discussant on an International Seminar organized by Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade (KIET) and United Nations Organization for Industrial Development (UNIDO) on "Industrialization of Africa and Partnership with Korea" in early November. He also moderated a panel on “Internal and External Factors of Korea Development and Sectoral Development Experience” for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development/Korea International Cooperation Agency 5th Seoul ODA International Conference on “Making International Development Cooperation Effective: Lessons from the Korean Development Experience”, at Yonsei University in mid-October. Also, Dr. Kalu delivered one of the 2011 Global Distinguished Lecture Series at the Ewha-SK Telecom Center, Ewha Womans University, September 30, 2011 on “Mapping the Contours of Global Political Economy and Its Impacts on African States.”
Professor Kalu also traveled outside South Korea to contribute to a number of academic and foreign policymeetings. He provided a lecture on “ODA Critics and Voices from Development Partners” for International Development Cooperation course taught by Professor Eun Mee Kim at Ewha GSIS and live broadcast to a class in Hong Kong. At the invitation of the Korea Institute/Asia Center at Harvard University, he was a panelist on "East Asian Development and Human Security Workshop: Peace and Development in Post-Conflict Societies" and co-authored a paper on "Myanmar: A Sub-Saharan African Case in Southeast Asia” at that workshop. He was also invited by Asian Development Bank and the Government of Mongolia, to deliver a paper on “Managing Sustainable Development in Resource-Rich Countries—Lessons from Africa,” at the ADB-Mongolia Partnership: A Road Map for Happy, Healthy, and Harmonious Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in October.
Dr. Kalu, reflecting on his experience, notes that “Beyond the scholarly and policy discussions, my visit to South Korea was enriched by the opportunity to engage and mentor 14 mid-level government officials who are studying at Ewha for their graduate degrees in Development Studies as part of South Korea’s capacity building efforts in Africa. Also, meeting a number of former Ohio State University graduates who are now in policy circles, teaching or in the private sector made my visit worthwhile. I found South Korea to be warm and welcoming—even with the language barrier—it was easy for me to navigate many parts of the country. I learned from different constituencies—playing soccer with young to middle-age Koreans and in the company of established architects of Korean policies and fashion/business icons. For example, I had the privilege of having lunch and dinner with Nora Noh the celebrated Korean fashion icon credited as the first person to open a fashion show in Korea as well as the precursor of modern female fashion in Korean.” In Mongolia, I drank horse milk in the company of the highest policy makers and government officials in the midst of delightful traditional musical and artistic performances; and in Korea I was delighted by Shamanist recantations as well as private conversations with Buddhist priests/priestess—all in pursuit of local ideas in global contexts!”. We welcome Dr. Kalu back to OSU and to the Center.
Somalia at Crossroads Conference
As part of an ongoing dialogue in search of viable paths towards stable statehood, OSU was host to a conference entitled, “Somalia at Crossroads: Foreign Intervention, Humanitarian Crisis and Aspirations for Statehood” on January 27-28, 2012. Conference organizers included SomaliCAN, a local community outreach and advocacy organization, the Center for African Studies, the Somali Language Program in the Department of African American and African Studies, as well as several local scholars and policy advocates with expertise in Somalia (see full program) . The two day conference focused primarily on the increasingly complex networks of national and international agents with interests in the future form of Somali statehood, and in the multiple – and sometimes conflicting – policy prescriptions and accords being promulgated. The role of the U.S., in particular its ‘dual track’ policy, were discussed at a special panel at the Mershon Center for International Security by Deborah Malac, Director of East African Affairs for the Department of State, and Abukar Arman, Somalia’s Special Envoy to the United States. Conference panels also addressed other issues that stem from or relate to the crisis of statehood, including famine, displacement of populations, piracy, religious extremism, and remittances. Conference participants drafted a nine point communiqué to conveying the general consensus of the weekend’s discussions.
Reflections on Global Service Corp-Tanzania experience
CAS Program Assistant Darby O’Donnell, a third year International Affairs Scholar, spent her fall semester was spent in Arusha, Tanzania as a participant in a service-learning study abroad program hosted by University of Albany in partnership with Global Service Corp- Tanzania, a US-based NGO focusing on food security. The integrated program concentrated on sustainable agriculture methods, HIV/AIDS education and food drying. After completing a three week intensive course in these topics, Darby joined the Global Service Corp team, and trained community groups alongside the Tanzanian staff. The majority of the work took place in rural communities, with staff staying in tents or guest houses for the one or two week training duration. She shares her reflections on the experience here:
"Although the faces, tastes, smells, and sunshine of Tanzania seem far away, I still hold them close to my heart on these cold Columbus mornings. Tanzanian culture taught me to live in the moment, to appreciate people instead of things and value the time spent relaxing as time not wasted. Although I am struggling to apply these concepts to my fast paced life at OSU, I value this new perspective.
The inevitable question arises in conversation with old friends, “How was Tanzania?” I most often respond with a generic “amazing, great, awesome” as I haven’t come up with an accurate response. So really, how was Tanzania? It was challenging yet relaxing, discouraging but encouraging and for the first time I felt powerful solely because of where I came from and at the same time powerless.
I experienced the paradoxical emotions of powerfulness and powerlessness while conducting chicken vaccinations in the village of Samaria. In Tanzania, New Castle Disease kills an estimated 70% of chickens while the vaccination is a simple eye drop, costing less than one cent and lasting four months. In order to spread awareness of the vaccination and facilitate a relationship between chicken keepers and the community vaccinators (trained by GSC the week prior), we conduct free vaccinations for a week by going house to house at sunrise. This provided me with candid insight into how Tanzanians live and I was blown away by their resourcefulness, graciousness but also by the existence of extreme poverty. Because of the difficulties in spreading information among the rural population, some households were unaware of the vaccination campaign and subsequently let their chickens out for the day. The chickens can roam free anywhere, so it made it impossible to catch and vaccinate the chickens if they were let out of the coup. So there I was, standing in front of visibly malnourished children, holding a vaccination that could significantly increase their intake of food, and I was unable to utilize it. We had to move on to the next house. I wanted to chase every chicken down, to feel like I somehow guaranteed these children food for the next four months, but it just wasn’t possible due to resources and time.
I learned that no matter how hard myself or anyone wants to remedy injustices and satisfy the basic needs of a struggling population, no single hand is big enough. At times I felt discouraged, that the issues facing development were overwhelming, and Global Service Corp and other similar NGOs were just chipping into the top of the iceberg standing between what these people have and what they, as human beings, deserve.
At a point I considered: Wouldn’t it be easier to throw my hands up, go home, switch my major, and not consider this as my problem? Wouldn’t I sleep better at night if I wasn’t consumed with the suffering happening half way across the world? If it were even possible, I would never wish that for myself. I have discovered my passion, purpose and responsibility. I witnessed the effect that one person or organization can have on a single life, a family or community. The value of this small positive change should not be overshadowed by the sometimes slow improvements and setbacks in the bigger picture of development.
After experiencing the successes and frustrations of working for change at the grassroots level, I intend to gain experience at the policy level to better understand how development functions. I feel inspired and determined to continue pursuing International Development, eventually at an advanced degree level, in addition to my work at the Center for African Studies. Although the iceberg may seem large, I’m anxious to grab my pick axe and start chipping." Welcome back Darby!
Three OSU “Champions of Change” honored at the White House
OSU receives $24M USAID Grant to Boost Agriculture, Food Security in Tanzania
CAS leads Model African Union Delegation
Ohio State University was represented for the first time at the National Model African Union Conference in Washington, D.C. on February 24rd -27th, 2011. The Conference is attended annually by over 30 universities from across the country that come together to simulate the diplomatic activity of the African Union and draft resolutions in response to Africa’s many challenges.
The delegation, made up of students from Model African Union OSU, represented the Republic of Guinea. After months of vigorous research and preparation, the students had the opportunity to further investigate the Guinean government’s policies and positions on an array of topics at a private meeting with the Ambassador, Counsellor in Charge of Political Affairs and the First Secretary of the Embassy of Guinea. At the Conference’s opening ceremony, Ambassador Daouda Diabate, Embassy of Cote D’Ivoire and Honorable Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Head, Government of Southern Sudan Mission to the United States both gave key note addresses to the participants and faculty. Over the course of the next two days, students debated and passed resolutions in the Peace and Security, Economic, Social and Union Government committees while the Executive council committee grappled with an unfolding simulated crisis in Sudan.
Ohio State’s eight person delegation was advised by Laura Joseph and Dr. Kelechi Kalu, Assistant Director and Director, respectively, of the Center for African Studies. Utilizing their knowledge to serve the Ohio State community, Model African Union OSU is collaborating with the Collegiate Council on World Affairs and a collation of student organizations to host an African Union simulation on April 23rd, 2011 in the Ohio Union Senate Chamber at 1pm. The group hopes to make Ohio State’s attendance to the National Conference a lasting tradition. Students interested in participating in the National Conference next February, or the April 23rd simulation, are encouraged to contact Model African Union President, Darby O’Donnell (firstname.lastname@example.org) .Funding was generously provided by the College of Arts and Sciences, Center for African Studies, Undergraduate Student Government, Department of Political Science and Fisher College of Business.
CAS to host Sudan Studies Association Conference in May
CAS will host the 30th annual Sudan Studies Conference, May 13-15th, on the main OSU campus. In the wake of the historical January 2011 Referendum, in which South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly for independence, developments within and between the various regions of Sudan have yet to play out. Conference presentations will examine governance, resource sharing, education, infrastructure, international relations, gender, and historical issues which will bear on the future of the region. See the preliminary program for details. Registration and other details are available on the Sudan Studies Association website.
"Everything Africa" Photo Contest Winners
The CAS photography contest, “Everything Africa” invited students, faculty and staff to submit up to five images that related to African people, places, animals, and things, both on the continent and in the Diaspora. Submissions were grouped into five categories that reflect both the character of the submissions as well as visual aspects of the continent that tend to be under-represented: Urban Life, Youth, Nature, Africa in Motion, and Livelihoods. Many photos of high quality and diverse perspectives were received, making the designation of 'winners' extremely difficult.The winners will enjoy a gift certificate to Drelyse Asanka African Restaurant. CAS will use and credit these and other visual perspectives of Africa provided by contestants. View photos
Visit Strengthens OSU ties with University of KwaZulu-NatalThree faculty from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa visited OSU the week of September 6 to explore opportunities to exchange students, faculty, and other resources. Past collaboration has included capstone project research by OSU agricultural engineering students, a conference on Territorial Origins of African Civil Conflicts hosted at UKZN in January, and videoconferencing between the two Colleges of Education. The UKZN team included Professor Joseph Ayee, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the College of Humanities, Professor Nhlanhla Mkhize, Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Development and Social Sciences; and Professor Nwabufo Uzodike, Head, School of Politics. They met with a wide variety of colleges and departments, reflecting the broad array of disciplines at UKZN, which accommodates 40,000 students and has many attributes of a land-grant university. Faculty and staff from Education and Human Ecology, Linguistics, Women’s Studies, FABE, AAAS, the Mershon Center, OIA, Public Health, the Food Innovation Center and the International Poverty Solutions Collaborative engaged with the team and with the Center for African Studies. They were also warmly welcomed by President Gee.
Diplomats Discuss U.S. Somali Relations
“Emerging Issues in U.S. - Somali Relations: Local, National and International Dimensions” was the subject of an April 26 th CAS-sponsored forum. Panelists included longtime Ohio resident and Somali Envoy to The United States, Mr. Abukar Arman, and Ambassador David Shinn, a former U.S. diplomat and Horn of Africa expert who currently teaches at George Washington University.
Somalia’s Envoy to the United States, Mr. Abukar Arman, spoke about the difference between current and previous Somali Transitional Governments and the opportunities that currently exist in advancing peace and reconciliation in the Horn of Africa. Mr. Arman re-iterated that military might and hard power have proved counter-productive in past efforts to resolve the prolonged Somali civil war, and that dialogue and reconciliation with moderate elements of the opposition are not only feasible but necessary. He took issue with policies towards Somalia and towards Somali Diaspora communities largely derived from ethnic and religious stereotypes and media misrepresentations. He stressed the need for the Obama administration to develop a comprehensive policy to incapacitate terrorism as well as to strengthen the TFG’s capacity to protect its borders from enemies foreign and domestic. Mr. Arman continued to stress that the current Transitional Federal Government (TFG) is the only legitimate entity recognized by the United Nations, African Union, Arab League, and international community.
Ambassador Shinn spoke on his own behalf rather than that of the US government, drawing from his 37 years in the State Department. He discussed at length the history and evolution of US-Somalia relations from the days of the cold war to the present and highlighted incidents and events that continue to hamper effective US involvement in Somalia. Dr. Shinn criticized what he called a single dimensional US policy towards Somalia (focusing primarily on security matters) and emphasized his hope in seeing the Obama administration putting together a comprehensive US policy towards Somalia. Shinn also detailed the evolution of Al-Shabab and in particular their recruitment of Diaspora youth. Although skeptical about the existence of moderate elements within Al-Shabab, Shinn concluded that broadening the TFG’s political base would be more effective than increased foreign investment.
Follow up questions from the audience helped address concerns about terrorism, piracy, and UN report on World food program, AMISOM forces, Puntland and Somaliland.
Conference: Territorial Origins of African Civil Conflicts:
The importance of territorial disparities as a factor in armed conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa was the theme of this Mershon-funded conference, organized jointly by CAS and the School of Politics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa . Presentations at the conference, which took place at UKZN in January, examined the extent of sub-national regional inequality in present-day Sub-Saharan Africa, assessed the extent to which sub-national regional disparities play a role in armed conflicts, reviewed the extent to which African systems of governance currently address and redress territorial differences and grievances, and reviewed and analyzed peace accords in Africa in which decentralization and regional development policies play a major role. A set of five commissioned papers anchored the conference. Professors Ufo Uzodike and John Moolakkattu of UKZN addressed Historical Origins of African Civil Conflicts; Adekunle Amuwo provided an overview of Conceptual Approaches; a paper by John Mbaku of Weber State University looked at the Role of Institutions. Gudrun Ostby of the University of Norway explored Empirical Analysis in this field and Kelechi Kalu of OSU’s Center for African Studies examined Practical Solutions to civil conflict. An additional 14 scholars presented papers on themes situated in regional contexts. They included:
Forty papers were accepted for presentation from throughout Africa and beyond. Unfortunately many participants were unable to secure South African visas to attend, an ironic impediment in light of the conference’s territoriality themes. A forthcoming book will feature commissioned and other papers. The conference also provided opportunity for CAS and UKZN organizers to discuss further collaboration. Kelechi Kalu, the current CAS Director, David Kraybill, the previous Director, and Laura Joseph, the Assistant Director, met with faculty and staff from the School of Politics and International Relations staff, as well as with Deputy Vice Chancellor for the College of Humanities, Joseph Ayee to consider exchange of linguistics and other faculty, study abroad, and other options. OSU, through the department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering, and UKZN currently work together on sustainable agricultural engineering projects.
University of Liberia visit:
Dr. Emmet Dennis, President of the University of Liberia and former Dean at Rutgers University, visited the OSU campus on January 12 th and held discussions with OSU faculty, OIA and CAS staff, and in a meeting with President Gee. Dr. Dennis’s administration of both American and African institutions of higher education greatly informed his vision of the university in the post-conflict era. The government of President Johnson-Sirleaf has increased funding to UL and is committed to the rebuilding of its human capital (faculty) and its curriculum to reflect the priorities of the National Poverty Reduction Strategy. China, Nigeria, Cuba and other states are supporting the university. Partnerships with a number of foreign institutions, including the University of Michigan, Georgia State, Indiana University, George Mason, University of North Carolina, Makerere University are already contributing to faculty and teacher training, and to curricula updating, as well as to innovative training and exchange models. The disciplines of Agriculture and Forestry, Teacher training, Medicine and the Sciences are particularly vital. African Studies, Conflict resolution, Law, Libraries, and administration and finance disciplines also need assessment and invigoration. Proposed next steps include the formation of a working group to build further contacts with UL in mutual areas of interest, further setting of topics and agendas, and a visit to the University of Liberia.
Conference: West Africa and the US “War on Terror”
This conference, which took place October 30-31 at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, examined the evolving U.S.-Africa security partnership. Since September 11, heightened security attention has focused on West Africa. The vast geographical expanse of the Sahel, with its relatively small governmental infrastructure, makes the region an appealing base for terrorist groups. One example is the oil-producing Niger-Delta zone of Nigeria. This area continues to show increasing vulnerability as a failed state, making it a target location to organize and train Islamic militants. To address such issues, the United States launched a $500 million Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Initiative, which seeks to boost the military capacity of selected West African nations and counter the security threats posed by terrorists. The establishment of the U.S. military's Africa Command (AFRICOM) in 2007 marks the growing importance of Africa in U.S. security calculations. According to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, AFRICOM oversees "security cooperation, partnership capability building, defense support to non-military missions, and, if directed, military operations on the African continent."
Participants included Clement Adibe, DePaul University; Pita Agbese, University of Northern Iowa; Gen. Jonah Arogbofa, Nigerian Armed Forces (Ret.);
Gen. Russell Howard, University of Montana; Kelechi Kalu, The Ohio State University;
George Klay Kieh, University of West Georgia; Dean A. Minix, Tarleton State University; Boubacar N'Diaye , The College of Wooster; Julius Nyangoro , University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Andrea Walther, Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI); Sylvester Odion-Akhaine, Centre for Constitutionalism & Demilitarization, Lagos, Nigeria; Diane Chinonso Orefo, National Investment Promotion Commission, Abuja, Nigeria; Zakaria Ousman, Consulate of Pakistan in Chad; Vinton M. Prince, Wilmington College; Abdoulaye Saine , Miami University of Ohio; and Philip Spangler, AFRICOM. Jendayi E. Frazer , Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and currently a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University, provided the keynote address and was an active participant throughout the conference.
New Africanist faculty at OSU
Five faculty who joined OSU this year have brought new depth to African Studies within their respective departments. Cheikh Thiam is Assistant Professor with a joint appointment in African American and African Studies (AAAS) and French and Italian departments. His research and teaching specializations include postcolonial theory, race theory, African literature and African philosophy. The courses he teaches include Introduction to African Literature, Francophone African and Caribbean Literature, and media and visual culture. He received his Ph.D. from SUNY Binghamton and previous degrees from the University of Provence in France and the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal . Monica Brodnicka , a Senior Lecturer in AAAS and Comparative Studies, specializes in comparative religions, personhood in West African literature, and African philosophy. She also holds a Ph.D. from SUNY, Binghamton and the University of Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal. Sarah Van Beurden joined AAAS this year as an Assistant Professor, with specializations in modern African and transnational history, postcolonialism, material culture, and cultural history. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and prior degrees from the University of Leuven in Belgium. Esther Baker-Tarpaga is new to the department of Dance as Assistant Professor, with a specialization in West African and postmodern dance. In the summer of 2009 she co-founded the first dance and drum study abroad program in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. She has a BA from Bowdoin College in French and Anthropology and an MA in Dance and MFA in Choreography from UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures Dept. Charisma Acey is Assistant Professor in the Knowlton School of Architecture. Her research interests include International development, political economy of poverty reduction and access to basic services, environmental behaviors, policymaking and urban governance, neighborhood-based civil society. She will be teaching Planning in the Contemporary World (597), Intro to Planning in Developing Countries (740), Urban Sector and Project Planning in Developing Countries (741); Studio & Planning, Developing Countries (749). She received her Ph.D. from UCLA’s School of Public Affairs. Her academic and professional work has taken place in Nigeria, Angola, Zimbabwe and elsewhere.
OSU Community Welcomes Somali President
Wednesday, October 7th. President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed this week became the first Somali President to visit Columbus, as well as the first to come to the U.S. in many years. His visit to the OSU campus was the culmination of an intense sequence of presentations and community dialogues in Columbus, the final stop on a tour of Minneapolis, Chicago, and other US metropolitan areas with sizeable Somali communities. About 200 students, faculty, staff and community members gathered at the Longaberger Alumni House to hear the President’s speech. Speaking through an interpreter he reiterated the messages he brought to the UN General Assembly and to other cities on his tour: that the US and Somalia share a common interest in combating Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, and that both share the responsibility of educating the youth of the Somali Diaspora to apply their energies peacefully and productively to the rebuilding of Somalia. The President also responded to a variety of questions from the audience, on the issues of piracy, refugees, relations with neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Somalia’s role in the African Union, and how to deal with the newly-established local governments within Somalia. President Ahmed and his entourage were received by Vice Provost for Global Strategies and International Affairs, Dr. William Brustein, and by Dr. Kelechi Kalu, Director of the Center for African Studies. President Ahmed was presented with a text edited by President Gordon Gee on Education Law, in appreciation for his own scholarship in Islamic Law.
Liberian Senate President Visits OSU
The Honorable Cletus Wotorson, President of Liberia’s Senate, met with OSU students, faculty and community members on Friday, September 25th in Schoenbaum Hall. The meeting on campus was a part of a visit to Columbus, home to many Liberians, with whom Senator Wotorson came to engage. Senator Wotorson was recently elected President of the Senate in the administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. His background in academia, as a geology professor, as well as in both private and public sector mining concerns, are particularly important to resource-rich Liberia in its post-civil war reconstruction efforts. Dr. Kelechi Kalu of the Center for African Studies made introductions and facilitated the session. Senator Wotorson provided the audience with an overview of the country’s progress in transitioning from conflict to peace, and engaged in discussion with the audience on many issues. He discussed the ICC trial of Charles Taylor and expressed regret that opportunities for a national reconciliation forum have not taken root as of yet. Timber, oil, and mining concessions have also been the subject of much debate in Liberia as it strives to jumpstart its economy in the short term while maintaining sustainable economic development over the long term. The importance of education was particularly stressed, with ideas on how to provide incentives for doctors, teachers, and other agents of development to revitalize Liberia’s rural sector. Exchange with OSU has the potential of creating significant positive impact for all concerned, and will be explored further through the Center for African Studies.
Changes in climate have a major impact in Africa because the majority of its people are directly dependent on natural resources that are affected by climate. The natural environment and human systems interact in complex ways. This May 15th workshop focused on climate change and its interaction with African systems of crop and animal systems. Videotaped presentations can be viewed
CAS, the School of Teaching and Learning, and the Ohio Humanities Council partnered to host a summer workshop for K12 teachers on Somali History, Language and Culture in June. To share in the class experience, join the class .
This new course, taught by Professor Antoinette Errante in the College of Education, will explore the meaning of conflict transformation in situations of intractable, prolonged or escalating conflict. How such conflicts affect and are affected by the social, cultural and material well-being of children, families and communities, and how the latter can participate in conflict transformation and the building of peaceful societies over the long-term will be studied. The course will focus on the lessons that can be learned from experiences on the African continent and explores how we can apply those lessons to conflict transformation in the US context and in our own lives. more
Dr. Kelechi Kalu appointed new CAS Director
Prior to joining the faculty at Ohio State in 2008, Kalu was a professor of political science at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, and Adjunct Professor of African Politics at the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Kalu is the author of "Economic Development and Nigerian Foreign Policy" (New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2000), and many articles that have been published in the International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society, Africa Today, and the Journal of Nigerian Affairs, among others. He recently co-edited "Socio-Political Scaffolding and the Construction of Change: Constitutionalism and Democratic Governance in Africa" (Africa World Press, 2009) with Peyi Airewele-Soyinka of Ithaca College. His current book project addresses political restructuring in post-conflict states in Africa, and is part of a larger project funded by The Ford Foundation.
Among the courses that Kalu currently teaches are U.S.-Africa Relations and Methodical Perspectives in African and African American Studies. His research interests include the political economy of development and underdevelopment in Africa and the developing world.
Darfur article by Ahmed Sikainga featured in Origins on-line journal
Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective February 2009 issue features "The World's Worst Humanitarian Crisis': Understanding the Darfur Conflict", by Ahmad A. Sikainga. Professor Sikainga holds a joint appointment in the departments of History and African American and African Studies. He is a former director of the Center for African Studies.
Since 2003, the Darfur region of western Sudan has been the site of terrible violence, death, and displacement, what the United States has labelled "genocide." Despite what is currently the world's largest relief operation, efforts to calm the conflict and assist the 5 million Darfurians suffering ongoing deprivation have produced precious few results. With no end in sight for the turmoil, Ahmad Sikainga, a native of Sudan, explores the origins and current status of the Darfur conflict.
Origins is a publication from the Public History Initiative and eHistory in Ohio State University 's History Department. In each feature article, an academic expert analyzes a particular current issue -- political, cultural, or social -- in a larger, deeper historical context. Origins also includes podcasts, images, maps, graphics, timelines, and other material to complement the essay.Origins can be found at http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/origins/ . The podcast is at http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/origins/podcasts.cfm .
Dr. Mark Moritz, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, is among four OSU researchers recently honored by the National Science Foundation with its Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. He will receive $530,000 for leading a study of cattle herders in the African nation of Cameroon. Four Ohio State University professors were among young researchers recently honored by the National Science Foundation with its Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. The award recognizes a young researcher's dual commitment to scholarship and education. Together, the OSU faculty garnered more than $2 million in CAREER funding, to be awarded over the next five years. Moritz was awarded the funds for his project “Pastoral Management of Open Access: The Emergence of a Complex Adaptive System.” He is leading the study to solve a mystery: How these herders move more than 100,000 cattle into the Logone floodplain each year after the rainy season, while keeping access open to anyone, avoiding conflict, and not overgrazing the land. Moritz will study how individual decision-making, coordination of movements and participation in an information sharing network lead to a complex adaptive system in which cattle herders manage grazing resources — all without centralized control.
Call for Papers: Africa in the Age of Globalization Symposium, October 17
The Department of African American and African Studies Community Extension Center invites the submission of abstracts and panel proposals for possible inclusion at its October 17 symposium on Africa in the age of Globalization . The symposium will examine the potential benefits and costs of globalization, particularly in Africa and the role it has played in Africa's present state of affairs. This event will be held at the African American and African Studies Community Extension Center located at 905 Mount Vernon Ave. Abstract and proposals should be submitted to email@example.com by September 14. For more information about the symposium visit: http://aaascec.osu.edu .
Two new faculty join African American and African Studies
The Center for African Studies joins the Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS) in welcoming two new faculty, Dr. Anthonia Kalu and Dr. Kelechi Kalu, to OSU. Dr. Anthonia Kalu joins the AAAS faculty as the new Chair of the department, following Dr. Ken Goings in that position as of July 1. Dr. Kalu was previously affiliated as a Professor of Black Studies in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley , Colorado . Her doctoral degree is in African Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin. Her awards include fellowships with the Du Bois Institute for Research in African American and African Studies at Harvard University, a Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellowship, and a Rockefeller writer-in-residence and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship. She spent a year at Connecticut College as a Distinguished Associate Professor of English, Africana Studies and Women's Studies. She has also received distinguished scholar awards from the University of Notre Dame and Spelman College . She has published many articles on African and African American literature, multiculturalism, and women and development. She is the author of several books including “Women, Literature, and Development in Africa ” (Africa World Press, 2001), The Rienner Anthology of African Literature, Lynne Rienner Publishers (April 30, 2007) “Broken Lives and Other Stories” (Ohio University Press, 2003).
Also joining AAAS is Dr. Kelechi Kalu, who previously served as Professor of Political Science at the University of Northern Colorado . His areas of specialization include African Politics and Political Economy, International Politics and Globalization, Development and Underdevelopment Studies, International Political Economy, and Third World Politics. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Denver-GSIS in 1997, on the topic, “Foreign Policy and Economic Development in Nigeria ”. Some of his recent publications include, “Constitutionalism as Framework for Post-Conflict Society Reconstruction in Rwanda ,” Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution ( California State University , 2006); “The Political Economy of Health Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa” (with Cynthia Cook, NYU) Medicine and Law Journal Volume 27, No.1 (March 2008): 29-51; as well as numerous forthcoming articles and books. His long list of honors include 1997/1998 Faculty Member of the Year, University of Northern Colorado; “Africa Excellence in Scholarship & Service Award”, presented by African Studies and Research Forum/Association of Third World Studies (2006); McNair Scholars Program 1995-2005 Outstanding Service Award (2005); Student Honors Council (UNC) 2004-2005 Distinguished Service Award; Association of Third World Studies (ATWS) President's 2004 Distinguished Leadership & Service Award.
David Denlinger, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Entomology at The Ohio State University, has been selected to speak at Ohio State's summer quarter commencement. A member of Ohio State's faculty since 1976, Denlinger is regarded as one of the world's leading environmental insect physiologists. He has earned international recognition for his contributions to entomology and their application to agriculture, the environment and human health. Denlinger's 30-year quest to understand what causes insects to survive harsh weather and go into dormancy, or diapause, has taken him to some of the most extreme climates on earth, including areas of Africa.
Denlinger most often studies flesh flies and gypsy moths. He has also studied the mosquito species that carries the West Nile virus and the blood-sucking African tsetse fly, which carries sleeping sickness to humans and cattle. He has traveled to Antarctica to collect midges to study how they survive despite being frozen in ice for nearly 11 months of the year.
A native of Pennsylvania, Denlinger earned his bachelor's degree in zoology from Pennsylvania State University in 1967, and his doctorate in entomology from the University of Illinois in 1971. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation's Antarctica Service Medal and the Gregor Mendel Medal, presented by the Czech Academy of Sciences. In 2004, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the premier scientific society in the United States. Other awards include the Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, the Founder's Memorial Award and the C. V. Riley Achievement Award, all from the Entomological Society of America. He is a Fellow of that society, as well as the Royal Entomological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Additionally, Denlinger serves on six editorial boards, and has been the editor of the "Journal of Insect Physiology" since 1993. He served as chair of Ohio State's Department of Entomology for more than 10 years and in 2005 was designated a Distinguished University Professor, the highest honor bestowed on faculty. He also has won Ohio State's Distinguished Scholar award. Professor Denlinger serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for African Studies.
The Libraries recently purchased the Science/Technology/Agric, and the Soc. Sci / Humanities collections of Sabinet, billed as "the most comprehensive, searchable collection of full-text electronic South African journals in the world ," per their web site http://www.sabinet.co.za/journals/onlinejournals.html#value . The database can be accessed via this page http://library.ohio-state.edu/record=b6485967 .
The CAS Spring brown bag lecture series, following up on the success of the Winter series, hosted eight lunchtime sessions during the quarter. Professor Adeleke Adeeko of AAAS started off the series on April 4 with retrospective reflections on the fiftieth anniversary of Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart , in his talk entitled, “Great Books Make History: Things Fall Apart at 50”. The significance of Achebe's eloquent use of African linguistic, historical, and cultural narrative at the time it was written, as well as the legacy for modern novelists, was explored. Kennedy Walibora Waliaula of AAAS and Comparative Studies provided his April 11 audience with a sobering prognosis on the prospects for reconciliation in his native Kenya , in a talk entitled “ Kenya : Elegy of a Nation that Never Really Was”. He argued that critical elements needed to form a cohesive nation-state were never developed, neither by pre-colonial, colonial, or post-colonial politicians, and that little hope exists for substantive reconciliation in the aftermath of Kenya 's violent elections. In a slightly different forum on April 18, three graduate students whose research focuses on the Somali community provided a snapshot of Somali Studies research taking place at OSU. Richelle Schrock of Women's Studies, Nahla Al-Huraibi of Rural Sociology and Marnie Shaffer of Anthropology all provided insights on gender and resettlement issues, particularly as they pertain to Somali women in Columbus. On April 25, Dave Kraybill of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and Andy Keeler of the Glenn School of Public Policy described their research on adaptations to climate change in the Mt. Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania . The responses of farmers and other residents of the region, as well as those of governments and civil society groups were discussed. In a talk entitled “African Freedom in the Post-Abolitionist Thought of E.W. Blyden” on May 2, Kwaku Korang of AAAS brought to life E.W. Blyden, whose philosophies and writings laid the groundwork for the later and better-known Négritude and other black nationalist movements. In the following week Valentine Mukuria , a PhD candidate in the College of Education, talked about her recent participation with the Kenya Human Rights Commission in their analysis of election violence. She focused on changed perceptions of community, both pre and post election, as well as media distortions of violence throughout the country. On May 16, Neil Norman , a visiting Fellow with the Department of History, explained his archeological research in Benin , in a talk entitled, “Using Archeology to Reconsider Urbanism in Atlantic Africa: Town and Country of the Hueda Kingdom , c. 1650-1727”. His work provides evidence that the Hueda Kingdom was not as politically integrated as was previously believed, perhaps explaining the way it fell quickly to invasion from the neighboring Dahomean kingdom. Lastly, on May 23, Walter Rucker of AAAS discussed the dynamics of identity formation by West Africans in the New World, in “The Gold Coast Diaspora in the Americas : Ethnogenesis, Resistance, and Culture”. CAS Brown bags will continue in Autumn quarter.
Developed and taught by Dr. Ousman Kobo of the Department of History, this course will explore the relationship between identity politics and Islamic movements in West Africa. Using the decline of the Songhai Empire in sixteenth-century as the starting point, the course will examine the following questions: how does the struggle over religious purity reconfigure West African Islamic cultural and political landscapes? How does the diversity of the conception of religious purity contribute to the construction of religious, social and political identities? In what ways did West African Muslims confront European colonialism and subsequently Western modernity? The class will analyze how West African Muslims constructed their religious identities by localizing Islamic intellectual traditions, healing practices, music, arts, cultural norms and formal and informal religious festivals. By the end of the course, students will acquire the skills for analyzing the dialectical relationship between Islam and West African social, religious and cultural expressions, especially how Islam transformed and was transformed by indigenous religious knowledge, cultures and polity. Students will also be able to appreciate Islams common framework as well as its diversity and dynamics within that larger framework. Professor Kobo served as Visiting Assistant Professor of African history at Marquette University and Gettysburg College before joining the OSU History Department in 2006. His research and teaching interests include 20th century West African social and religious history as well as the social history of West African migrants in the United States. He is currently working on a book length manuscript titled, "Ambiguous Modernity: Islamic Reform in Ghana and Burkina Faso, 1950-2000." Kobo has received prestigious awards and grants to support his scholarly work including the MacArthur Fellowship for International Peace and the Boren Fellowship. The Center for African Studies helped fund the development of the course through a grant with the U.S. Department of Education. The course, History 594, will be taught Tuesdays and Thursdays in UH0056, from 2:30 - 4:18.
The Africa Network at OSU is sponsoring a Spring Tea, hosted by The Ohio State Health Sciences Center for Global Health. The featured speaker will be Ms. Barbara Campbell-Ker , Executive Director, Hospice Witwatersrand and Vice Chairperson, Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa. Following the presentation by Ms. Campbell-Ker, attendees are invited to view poster sessions and enjoy refreshments.
The Africa Network is sponsored by the Colleges of the Arts and Sciences in partnership with the Office of International Affairs and the Center for African Studies. Since 2005, this working conference has brought together people who have various interests in research, teaching (including study abroad, internships, and service learning activities), and outreach in Africa . The Africa Network, though its sharing of information and reflection on how interests intersect, increases the positive impact of efforts on the continent.
Parking is available in the Medical Center garages. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://africanetwork.osu.edu.
Two Ugandan scientists have been recognized for their excellence in agriculture by OSU. The National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) director general Dr. Denis T. Kyetere and Makerere University's head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Dr. Bernard Bashaasha , are to receive their 2008 International Alumni Awards on March 1. Kyetere and Bashaasha received their doctorates from Ohio State University in 1995 and 1998, respectively, from the College of Food , Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (FAES). The news was announced in Uganda 's New Vision newspaper. Kyetere told reporters, “This is unbelievable. It is very good for Uganda and Africa since I am the chairman of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa , which is an advocacy organisation for resource mobilisation.”
Bashaasha added: “I am very excited. It is a challenge because we need to link academic success to modernisation of agriculture and overall improvement in the quality of life of our farmers since they are still the economic back-bone in Africa .”
Kyetere served as the acting NARO chief for over a year before being named Director General in 2006. “In this position, Denis has restored a system of good governance, transparency and accountability. “As a result, staff morale has risen”, the OSU nomination letter noted. It also noted that under Bashaasha's guidance, his department has seen an increase in doctorate degrees, graduate students, and growing partnerships with agribusinesses.
Kyetere's Ph.D. study was supported by the OSU-led, Manpower for Agricultural Development Project. Bashaasha's Ph.D. study was supported by the OSU-led, World-Bank financed, Agricultural Training and Research Project. Since returning to Uganda , both Kyetere and Bashaasha have maintained their ties to OSU. At Makerere University , Dr. Bashaasha serves as the Uganda country host and gives a lecture to students taking part in the OSU Uganda Study Abroad program, led by OSU Professor David Kraybill. At NARO, Dr. Kyetere has collaborated with OSU faculty on an OSU- led Integrated Pest Management CRSP program in Uganda . He has also facilitated collaborative links with other OSU-led projects, including the East Africa Regional Integrated Pest Management Program, the Sorghum and Millet CRSP, and the Higher Education Partnerships for African Development project (HEPAD).
Dr. Bashasha will give a talk on capacity building in African universities on February 29 th as part of the CAS lecture series.
Barbara N. Ngwenya, Ph.D., is a visiting scholar and wetland social scientist at the Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park , School of Environment and Natural Resources, at The Ohio State University for December 2007 through July 2008. Barbara is a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Research Training Unit at the Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre (HOORC), Maun , Botswana , where she has been since 2002. She has been affiliated with University of Botswana since 1991. Barbara received her Ph.D. in social work and social science at University of Michigan 's School of Social Work in 2000. Before that she had received a B.A. in Humanities at University of Botswana , (1982), a Masters of Social Work at the Maritime School of Social Work at Dalhousie University , Halifax , Nova Scotia (1990), and an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from University of Michigan (1998).
As an Applied Anthropologist, her research interest and publications are in rural livelihoods, HIV/AIDS, poverty and food security, indigenous knowledge and sustainable development, community-based natural resources management (CBNRM) and natural resources management. She has presented her research results around the world including Australia, Portugal, Italy, Thailand, Korea, Uganda, Botswana, Malawi, Swaziland, Canada, and USA . Barbara will be giving two formal back-to-back seminars while she is at The Ohio State University:
April 24, 2008 3:30 pm, 103 Kottman Hall, School of Environment and Natural Resources “An Overview of Research Opportunities and Challenges at the Okavango Research Center , University of Botswana ”
April 25, 2008 3:30 pm 244 Kottman Hall, Environmental Science Graduate Program: “Children Fishing for Survival in the Okavango Delta, Botswana ”
Barbara's office while at The Ohio State University is 130 Heffner Wetland Research and Education Building at the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park . Her email is email@example.com and her office phone number is 614-688-6402.
Two new global health courses will be taught through the College of Public Health in 2008, supported in part through CAS’s undergraduate Title VI grant. Introduction to Global Health will be taught Winter Quarter by Dr. Michele Shipp, a Research Assistant Professor in CPH’s Division of Health Behavior and Health Promotion. Infectious Diseases in the Developing World will be taught Spring Quarter by Dr. Kurt Stevenson, MD, MPH, an associate professor of epidemiology at CPH as well as a faculty member in the Division of Infectious Diseases at OSU’s College of Medicine.
“My view of this course is to see experts in many different health fields speak to students on a regular basis,” Shipp said. “Global health issues are vast and varied, from HIV-AIDS to war and violence and the displacement of people”.
Many global health issues eventually become local in nature. Shipp pointed to the Somali population in Columbus, the second largest in the US after Minneapolis/St. Paul. The majority of Somalis settling in Franklin County are former refugees, some of whom spent many years in camps before coming to the U.S. Many face depression and stress-related problems. When exposed to the more sedentary lifestyle of the United States, they often develop diabetes, high blood pressure and other ailments.
“The world is getting smaller all of the time. We can go almost any place in the world in about 36 hours. Most infectious diseases can develop and be potentially contagious during this period of time,” Shipp said. “Health risks elsewhere could directly impact the well-being of our own communities.”
Stevenson’s global infectious diseases course will accompany a course in general infectious disease epidemiology already taught at CPH and taught by Stevenson. The global course will build on the principles of the general course but focus more on tropical infectious diseases and those unique to the developing world. It will also examine topics such as the role of poverty, malnutrition, and poor access to medical care on the risk for developing infections. Humanitarian relief efforts will also be addressed.
The Center for African Studies helped initiate and fund the new course development through its undergraduate Title VI grant, “Understanding Contemporary Africa: the Challenges of Health, Conflict, and Natural Resources”.
The Center for African Studies has organized a series of lunch time presentations by Africanist faculty for Winter Quarter. Professors from Medicine, Music, Anthropology, African Studies, Agriculture, Art Education and Geography will briefly share some of the research in their field during these ‘brown bag' sessions, followed by time for discussion. The sessions will take place on Fridays, from noon – 1:00, in Oxley Hall 122. Students, staff, faculty and the general public are encouraged to take part. The schedule of the sessions is as follows:
|Jan 11th||Jesse Kwiek, OSUMC||"HIV/AIDS in Malawi"|
|Jan 18th||Daniel Avorgbedor, Music/AAAS||
"Autochthonous Research and Biographical Evidence: Knowledge Construction, Interdisciplinarity, and Ethnomusicological Research in Africa with Focus on Religious- Ritual Traditions"
|Jan 25th||Mark Moritz, Anthropology||"An alternative model of crop-livestock interactions in West Africa "|
|Feb 1st||Franco Barchiesi, AAAS||“Schooling Bodies to Hard Work”: The South African State 's Policy Discourse and its Moral Constructions of Welfare|
|Feb 8th||Richard Meyer, AEDE Professor Emeritus||Microfinance in Africa : Successes and Challenges|
|Feb 15th||Vesta Daniel||“Using Community-Based Art Education to Address Social Justice: an Evolving Project in Tshwane , South Africa ”|
|Feb 22nd||Kevin Cox||Migrant Labor in South Africa, Past and Present|
* All presentations are free and open to the public.
A year from their debut at OSU, Somali language courses for students will continue in 2008. Taught by Instructor Abdulkadir Abdi, students who take Somali 102 will continue the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills begun in Autumn Quarter. There are also plans to offer Somali 103 and 104 simultaneously in Spring Quarter, making possible the completion of many OSU language requirements in one year. As the language of 40,000 Somali residents of Columbus , the study of Somali is attractive not only to students familiar with the community, but also to heritage speakers of the language who may have gaps in the formal knowledge of their mother tongue. “Many students were very excited that OSU now offers a Somali class that will not only fulfill their foreign language requirement, but also will serve as a learning process to their culture and country”, said Instructor Abdi. “Many students came here in their infancy, and don't know great deal about Somalia and the Somali language. It makes a lot of sense to offer this class as a starting point not only for the Somalis but for anyone who is interested in Somalia .” Somali 102 will be taught 4:30 – 5:18, Monday through Friday.
Somali instruction has also been long sought by teachers, social workers, health care providers and others in Columbus who live and work with Somalis. Autumn quarter saw the debut of a Continuing Education class in Somali, attended by 22 people, and taught by Instructor Abdulkadir Abdi. In addition to developing communication skills in the language, deepening students' understanding of the relationship between Somali language and culture is an important objective for Continuing Education students. A new Somali I class will again be offered on Thursdays, January 15 th – March 4 th , 7-9 for $174 on West Campus. A follow-up class, Somali II will also be offered Thursdays 7-9. Those interested should contact Kemba Nzinga at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The development of Africa 's education sector and the new emphasis on tertiary education were the subjects of a talk by Dr. Peter Materu of the World Bank on November 15th. Speaking to a group of over 100 students, faculty and community members at the Hale Center , Materu revisited the traditional emphasis that the World Bank and other development institutions have placed on primary education in Africa . While the results of this focus have yielded encouraging results, with primary school completion rates increasing 20% from 2000 to 2005, enrollment at the secondary and tertiary levels continue to lag far behind the rest of the world. This translates into fewer researchers, patent applications and scientific publications, and correspondingly less scientific and economic engagement. Fortunately, there is growing consensus about the importance of tertiary education in national and international policy arenas. Materu discussed the challenges of access, quality, staffing, relevance, management, financing, connectivity, and brain drain, as well as promising developments in those areas. Finally, he outlined the World Bank's activities in higher education. Please click here to view Dr. Materu's PowerPoint presentation.
Reflections on Higher Education in Africa is the theme of this quarters’ speaker series at CAS. On October 16th, Dr. Calestous Juma of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government gave several talks on the themes of economic development, biotechnology, and new policy directions in African higher education. Dr. Juma, a Kenyan national, is Professor of the Practice of International Development and Director of the Science, Technology, and Globalization Project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Dr. Juma acknowledged previous donor bias against ‘elitist’ higher education, to the sometimes exclusive focus on primary education. He also took issue with the common lament that the Green Revolution has somehow passed Africa by. Rather, he said, it is the absence of the land-grant model of higher learning institutions which has stymied development in Africa, the main obstacle to advancement of scientific development being the lack of collaboration between universities and research institutes in many countries. Postcolonial policies in many universities failed to encourage faculty to engage in research; while many research institutes fail to engage in teaching and other dissemination of their work. Leaders in a growing number of African countries, such as Malawi and Tanzania, however, are taking steps to formally integrate research, training, and extension. Others, as in Ghana, are allocating greater percentages of university funding to the sciences. China is seen as being particularly responsive to Africa’s new emphasis on scientific development. Their sponsorship of student exchange and investment in African institutions ($5bill for DRC engineering programs) currently outpace comparable US activity. Juma also mentioned the importance of ‘scientific literacy’ dissemination to popular level via radio, sometimes even in tandem with evangelistic Christian and Islamic programs. He also alluded to the phenomenon of ‘start-up’ universities in post-conflict zones such as Somaliland (Hargeisa University), which are developing programs that better integrate academics and practical, problem solving missions.
Dr. Juma’s presentation on biotechnology issues drew largely on his recent participation in an African Union report Freedom to Innovate: Biotechnology in Africa’s Development, looking at issues related to GMOs and other emerging technology. Juma acknowledged the inherent challenges of advancing health and economic development, adding value a country’s natural resource base, and protecting the environment. The skepticism in Africa surrounding many biotechnology advances, however, stems largely from the failure to include African researchers and policy makers in their development. Policies which balance development and safety needs, invest in infrastructure, efficiently ‘prospect’ existing technologies from elsewhere, capitalize on regional technical specializations within the continent (Such as acknowledging Southern Africa’s expertise in medical technology, West Africa’s in crop, etc), and provide additional status and incentives to those in the scientific development community should be pursued.
Asked how to best build good partnerships, Juma said that committed bilateral arrangements between African universities and other partners (such as CRSP initiatives) are more likely to achieve positive results than traditional, multilateral research institutions (such as CGIAR). Evidence of legislative reform integrating the teaching and research functions of institutions of higher learning (Rwanda, Malawi) should be one criteria for developing partnerships. Such partnerships may also include such important but overlooked constituencies as Diaspora communities and returned peace corps volunteers. Finally, he stressed the need for American universities to have a genuine acceptance of the necessity of a global outlook.
Dr. Juma is a former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, Founding Director of the African Centre for Technology Studies in Nairobi, and served as Chancellor of the University of Guyana. Professor Juma is co-chair of the African High-Level Panel on Modern Biotechnology of the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Under the auspices of the African Union, he frequently works with African heads of state on the challenges and opportunities in these areas.
318 Oxley Hall
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